President-elect Joe Biden is exploring whether he could invoke a wartime production law to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production for the nation’s mass inoculation, NBC News reported.
According to the news outlet, which cited two unnamed sources, Biden’s coronavirus advisory team is looking into the possibility of using the Defense Production Act in the face of a shortage of components to make the COVID-19 vaccines.
The aides have already begun to warn that the Trump administration’s timeline projecting a mass vaccination in the spring may be too optimistic and faces obstacles — primarily a lack of vaccine supply, NBC News reported.
Scientists are advising the Biden team about how the Defense Production Act — which President Donald Trump invoked to boost the making of medical supplies and testing equipment — could “enhance parts of the manufacturing process” for the COVID-19 vaccinations, NBC News reported, citing a Biden adviser.
According to Fierce Pharma, Pfizer has already pressed the Trump administration to invoke the DPA to produce more vaccines in the United States.
A Pfizer spokesperson told NBC News it’s working the the government and believes it can “remove any obstacle that may present itself as we work to ramp up manufacturing to deliver any additional doses.”
NBC News reported Biden officials say a primary concern would be how to invoke the DPA in a way that doesn’t favor one company over another.
Moderna’s vaccine has also been approved for use in the United States. And Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are in the final phases of testing vaccines and expect to be completed and apply for emergency use authorization in February, the news outlet reported.